It seems that, every year, the arrival of winter sees our interiors being fast-tracked to all things festive. But, by slowing down the season and taking the time to recognise winter’s subtle changes, there’s opportunity to ease your home into soon-to-descend Christmas. One of the richest ways of doing so is by turning your attention to what fills vases on tables and window ledges alike. After all, your home’s floral displays are what create a backdrop reflective of the nature that’s awaiting beyond your threshold. With these three arrangement suggestions, you’ll discover the cuttings that call out to be amassed in the coming wintery months – proof that summer isn’t the only time to bring the outside in.
Full on foliage
Less is more – a statement to believe in, but not necessarily to live by, as this first bouquet persuades.
Challenge the presumption that oversized bouquets ask for a tall vase by placing your stems in a lower, wider pot like Hanley or Haybrook. The contrast in vase and stem height only dramatises the arrangement. A wider neck asks for a denser display, though try not to be tempted to cut every stem short, instead letting the weight determine where each stems falls.
Regardless of vessel, there’s a decision to be made over whether you want your display to make a strong colour statement or more of a textured one. Winter is the perfect time to amass burgundy-tinted stems, from hellebores and russet Queen Anne’s Lace to ‘Red Box’ eucalyptus and tinted oak leaves; or to go evergreen with ferns, sprays, holly and laurel leaves. Of course, if you’d prefer your flowers to blend in, mix up the tones and focus instead on the amount of texture they’ll bring to your room.
Single stem arrangements
Now to the other end of the scale, where you strip back the depth of colour, the styles of stem and the number nestled inside your vase.
Selective rather than sparse, choosing to position just one or two cuttings in a vase is an exercise of restraint and of subtlety – don’t be tempted into thinking solo sprigs are the reserve of bud vases and minimal posies. Taller, more slender vases like Beswick or the tall Castleford vase are also a more-than-pleasing partner for pared-down displays. You can even give the guise of a bigger arrangement by placing two vases side by side, each with a different sprig inside – when things turn festive, try a gold-tinted eucalyptus aside a mulled wine-hued sprig on a fireplace’s mantel.
Statement woven wreaths
Time to think outside of the vase. Wreaths have slowly grown into being a styling touch used in each and every season, be it springtime wreaths hung from garden gates to the classic evergreen wreath proudly displayed on front doors come Christmas.
By investing in a generous number of life-like stems, you can play florist by weaving your own winter wreath that will remain beautifully intact for many winters down the line.
We always suggest building a foliage base upon which you can layer more seasonal blooms. This way, you’ll have the option to untangle and replace them with other flowers throughout the year. Eucalyptus is always a safe place to start, but don’t stick to one sort. Combine the silver-tinted and small-leaf variety with larger, heart-shaped blush eucalyptus leaves and at least one other type of greenery – sage is a favourite of ours in winter. Flowers aren’t a must-have in a seasonal wreath, but more of a could-have. Build it slowly, and try weaving in one type to begin with, remembering to tuck the petals below the greenery so they peak through – in a wreath, a flower head should be dispersed as much as possible, unlike in a vase.
And one non-floral addition to bear in mind when it comes to a winter’s wreath: fairy lights. Battery-powered (so there’s no trailing cable to worry about), on a fine, clear wire, a strip of strand lights is a quietly Christmassy addition that each and every flower variety will more than warmly welcome.